Afghan forces will start leading in another 2 to 4 years: Gates

May 18th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 18 (ANI): US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that it will take another two to four years before Afghan forces start leading their military operations on their own.

“War is inherently unpredictable. Okay? And the enemy always has a vote. But that would be our anticipation. I think what the people in the United States want to see is the momentum shifting to see that the strategies that we’re following are working. And that’s why I’ve said in nine months to a year, we need to evaluate how we’re doing,” Gates told CBS.

Gates expressed his disappointment over NATO’s response to this U.S. requests on Afghanistan ever since he became Defense Secretary.

“NATO as an alliance, if you exclude the United States, has almost two million men under arms. Why they can’t get more than 32,000 to Afghanistan has always been a puzzle to me. Frustrating,” The Politico quoted Gates, as saying.

Gates, who is the only Bush holdover in the Obama Cabinet, said he regretted his March 2008 comment that Obama was “somewhat more analytical” than Bush.

“That’s something I wished I hadn’t said. I really have been very disciplined about not drawing those kinds of comparisons,” he said after being asked his views now.

Having vowed not to draw comparisons between the two American presidents, Gates described Bush as “committed, questioning, eager to make a decision and move on.”

While he termed Obama as “deliberative, decisive and calm.”

When asked if enjoys his job, Gates said, “The truth of the matter is being Secretary of War in a time of war is a very painful thing. And it’s not a job anybody should like. How can you like a job when you go to Walter Reed and you know you sent those young men and women in harm’s way? So, no, I don’t enjoy my job.” (ANI)

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